No presidential election in recent memory has been this close this late in the cycle. Phrases like “too close to call,” photo finish,” “down to the wire,” “nail-biter,” and “2000 Bush v. Gore split decision all over again” are being used to describe it. What’s more, many pundits are calling it the most important election in our lifetimes. Is it just me or does it seem like they say that for every election?
Anyway, next Tuesday is the big day. Our daughter Tory is going to vote for the first time. Christians are all over the map when it comes to November 6th. Some feel strongly for one candidate. Some strongly dislike one or both. Some are Democrats, some are Independents, some are Republicans, and some are so disgusted by the whole process that they refuse to vote. Ironically, I know two married couples in which the husbands are voting for President Barack Obama and their wives are voting for Governor Mitt Romney. Yes – our own versions of James Carville and Mary Matalin. They crack me up!
Something that I found helpful in accessing the candidates is the USA Today Presidential Candidate Match Game ll. This Web site takes you, position by position, through where the candidates stand on allthe issues. It also shows you how your own views match theirs. You can also weight categories according to how important they are to you. Chances are you aren’t aligned 100% with either one but it will show you the data behind which way you lean.
It’s also important to note that as messed up as our political system is, it’s still the best and most envied throughout the world. I can find myself griping about all that’s wrong with it and ignore the fact that more people from around the world want to come to the USA than all of the other largest industrialized countries combined. The following quote from Winston Churchill is worth mentioning: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”
So amid the chaos, there is a way to do right by God and as a good citizen. Jesus taught the right perspective on government in Matthew 22, Paul discussed it in Romans 13 and 1 Timothy 2 and Peter addressed it in the second chapter of his first book.
I’ve never considered not voting because of the grief my mom (and my dad too, if he were still alive) would give me. I do it because of the millions of my forbearers and others who suffered unspeakable torture and gave their lives to secure this right for all of us. We do well to do our best as good citizens. We also do well to remember that our real citizenship is in Heaven, as is the One in whom we put our ultimate hope and trust.
PS: In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, our hearts and prayers go out to those in pain and who’ve suffered loss on the East Coast.